Bleak House Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Misinterpreted by Guppy, Tulkinghorn states that he feels Gidley is ___________.

2. The woman who visited Jo was wearing ___________.

3. Esther's attitude toward Jarndyce is one of ___________.

4. Why is Mr. Jarndyce unable to end the lawsuit?

5. Jo's money was given to him by a female servant who ___________.

Short Essay Questions

1. Richard Carstone has a strange way of seeing money. How does Esther illustrate his propensity to rationalize his spending?

2. What is the reader's impression of detective Bucket? How does Dickens accomplish his portrayal of Bucket?

3. Who is Mr. Vholes in this story? What is his role in Richard's life?

4. Discuss the ending of the story. What is Dickens' intention when he allows Esther to live on happily after all that has taken place?

5. Explain Vholes' philosophy about the English legal system? Is it moral?

6. Describe the general scene in the Chancery hearings on the Jarndyce suit, and London, as it is set by Dickens in the first chapter. Is there anything attractive or alluring about the ambience of either?

7. What foreshadows a relationship between Woodcourt and Esther in this chapter?

8. Who is Volumnia Dedlock? Discuss her role and her physical appearance.

9. Why has Chesney Wold become quiet and dismal? How is it different now from before?

10. What purpose does it serve having Lady Dedlock take a shine to the lovely new maid, Rosa?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Several times in Bleak House Dickens describes the most disgusting and unsanitary conditions of London cemeteries. What were those conditions? Why were they allowed to get to this state? Have they changed? Research the history of London burial grounds and write a detailed essay, using images, if possible.

Essay Topic 2

The issue of suicide is raised several times in Bleak House. Dickens makes it seem almost a common topic of discussion, if not a common occurrence. Try to find some research that sheds light on the suicide rate in England during the 1800s, and see if you can draw any parallels with the economic condition of the country at that time.

Essay Topic 3

A "beadle" was something of a cross between a police officer and church official. Research the role of beadles in England in the 1800s. How did society view them at that time? It is helpful to re-read Chapter 11 of Bleak House about the beadle's arrival at Krook House at the time of Nemo's death.

(see the answer keys)

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